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PEOPLE: GenomeWeb s Weekly Personnel Roundup of the Genomics Sector: Jan 23, 2002

NEW YORK, Jan. 23 - Toronto-based proteomics company MDS Proteomics will add two new vice presidents in drug discovery, the company said on Wednesday. Gregg Morin and Mark Scheideler both have experience in pharmaceutical and drug-discovery research.

 

Scheideler will be based in Odense, Denmark, and Morin will be located in Toronto. Both will coordinate the company's research and its efforts to discover and validate new drug and antibody targets.

 

Scheideler joins MDS Proteomics from GlaxoSmithKline, where he was associate director and head of neurobiology research, developing new drug targets and improving lead searching efforts. He is also a biochemist, and worked at Denmark's Novo Nordisk and at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx.

 

Morin comes from Geron Corporation, where he oversaw research into telomerase biochemistry, vector biology and functional genomics. Prior to that, he studied human telomerase at the University of California, Davis.


 
GenoMed has added genetic statistician Jason Moore and microbiologist Scott Williams to its scientific advisory board, the company said recently.

 

Moore is a statistician and geneticist whose research focuses on the genetic epidemiology of complex diseases like hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

 

"His development of statistically robust methods to find disease-associated genes is a tremendously valuable contribution to the field of human genetics," GenoMed Chairman David Moskowitz said in a statement. "His expertise fits extremely well with the methods we are using to locate disease genes."

 

Moore is currently assistant professor in human genetics at Vanderbilt University Medical School, and has been developing a pattern recognition approach to demonstrate interactions between more than three SNPs in one model disease, sporadic breast cancer. The method may ultimately be applied to identify SNP combinations that can predict risk for diseases like hypertension, cancer, and depression.

 

Williams is currently associate professor in the department of microbiology at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., and co-director of its Computational Biology Core Facility. He is expert in population genetics, molecular genetics, epidemiology and computing techniques, with a focus in genes related to hypertension.


 

Signature BioScience added Geoffrey Duyk to its board of directors and appointed Frances Heller as vice president of corporate development and legal affairs.

 

Heller will oversee partnering and licensing activities as the company seeks to develop new collaborations. She was previously vice president of intellectual property and legal affairs at biochip developer Zyomyx, and before that was corporate and intellectual property counsel for Celera.

 

Duyk, the chief scientific officer and executive vice president at Exelixis, will provide experience in developing a drug discovery platform, the company said in a statement released on Tuesday.

 

Duyk was also vice president of genomics at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and was previously a geneticist at Harvard Medical School and with Howard Hughes. He is also a member a various NIH panels and oversight committees relating to the human genome project.

 

Signature, based in Hayward, Calif., has developed a multiple coupling spectroscopy technology to determine protein and cell structure and gain insight into protein function. The company also intends to use the system for in-house lead compound discovery.



MorphoSys hired Axel Mescheder as its medical director and head of clinical research and development, the company announced on Tuesday. Mescheder will direct a development team that includes preclinical development and clinical operations, and will guide the company's efforts to develop a proprietary antibody produce pipeline.

 

He will report to Thomas von Rueden, the company's chief scientific officer.

 

Mescheder was previously director of clinical research and development at Genetics Institute/Wyeth Ayerst in Martinried, Germany, where he established the European clinical R&D and clinical study team. His work there focused on monoclonal antibodies and cytokines in immunology, infectious diseases, and gastroenterology.

 

He was previously head of critical care at Aventis, where he managed a Phase III biological product study, and worked in various capacities at Hoffmann-La Roche.

 

The preclinical and clinical development team is a new effort for MorphoSys, which focuses on synthetic antibodies for use in drug discovery. The company, headquartered in Munich, Germany, currently has licensing and research collaborations with a range of pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

 


 

Genops Bioinformatics added bioinformatics researcher Fiona Brinkman to its scientific advisory board, the company said on Monday.

 

Brinkman is assistant professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. Her research concerns pathogen evolution, and she coordinates the Pathogenomics initiative, a multidisciplinary effort of Simon Fraser and University of British Columbia scientists. She also is involved in the university's bioinformatics initiatives and programs.

 

Genops, based in Vancouver, has developed a bioinformatics platform enabling analysis and annotation of protein and nucleotide sequence data.


 

International venture capital firm Techo Venture Management has made three new promotions to partner, the company said on Jan. 16.

 

Rodney Altman, based in San Francisco, was previously assistant medical director of the emergency department of Illinois' MacNeal Hospital and taught medicine at the University of Chicago.

 

Hubert Birner, based in Munich, is a veteran of AstraZeneca and McKinsey & Company. He will represent TVM on the boards of Cologne's Direvo Biotech and Merix Bioscience of Durham, N.C.

 

Mark Cipriano, who will work in corporate finance in the company's Boston office, has been with the company for nearly two years.

 

TVM is a German and US venture capital firm focusing on information technology and life sciences. It now manages more than €1 billion, and established a life science team in San Francisco in 2000.


 

Bioinformatics software company Xpogen has added two vice presidents, the company said on Jan. 16. Michael Fahy will be the company's vice president of sales, and Robert Halpern will be vice president of business development.

 

Fahy was previously vice president of sales at Blackstone Computing, where he launched the company's efforts to sell high-throughput computing infrastructures to companies engaged in drug discovery.

 

Halpern was most recently vice president of business development for Fact City, a company that developed database navigation software. He has worked in business development in high tech, software and law.

 

Xpogen, based in Cambridge, Mass., is a privately funded company that develops software for life sciences data integration.

Promoted? Changing jobs? GenomeWeb wants to know. Help us keep track of you by e-mailing us at [email protected] PEOPLE, a roundup of personnel comings and goings in genomics, appears each Wednesday.

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